Southern African Biochemistry and Informatics for Natural Products Network

Because of the great biodiversity of southern Africa, enhanced capacity and capability in natural products research has the potential to increase food security, public health, and value-added exports. SABINA trains African scientists through research in the biochemistry and chemistry of natural products, including bioinformatics as an essential tool for data management and the elucidation of structure and function. Research focuses on increasing the understanding of useful plants (such as mushrooms, seaweeds, and tea crops) or fungi through the screening of assays and through study of biosynthetic pathways, gene expression, modes of action, synthetic production and genetic diversity. Accessing research facilities in the well-equipped institutions in South Africa and acquisition of research equipment and refurbishment of laboratories to support quality and innovative research in the non-South African universities constitute an innovative strengthening initiative.

Updates on Recent SABINA Activities

  • Dr. John Becker visited the Tanzanian SABINA node at the University of Dar es Salaam from 16-19 June to meet with staff members Drs. Quintino Mgani and Sylvester Lyantagaye to discuss various network matters. He also met with new students Aneth David, Cyprian Mpinda and Robert Christopher to discuss their research projects.

  • SABINA Phase 3 students came together in Pretoria to receive training on the VRE from 14-19 July 2014. Included in the trip were visits to South African nodes CSIR, University of Pretoria, and Wits. Some of the students had the opportunity to meet with their co-supervisors.

  • Attached a photo of the new students (Jean Dam not present); joined by two UP librarians for VRE training at the UP ACGT Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Unit.

Archived Updates

SABINA Leaders
Head of SABINA Secretariat
Ms. Ella Nyakunu
POL-SABINA Manager, African Centre for Gene Technologies, South Africa

Prof. Zeno Apostolides, Department of Biochemistry
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Prof. Charles de Koning, Department of Chemistry
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Prof. Martha Kandawa-Schulz, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science
University of Namibia

Dr. Sylvester Lyantagaye, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dr. Quintino Mgani, Department of Chemistry
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dr. Albert G. Changaya, Director
Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa, Malawi
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